Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Matthew 18:6-7; Mark 9:42 Be on your guard. If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. Luke 17:1-3,
Rebuking others who have missed the Mark in relating to you or me or with little ones seems to run counter to the mandate not to judge others and to forgive.
Like a seamless linen cloth woven tight we aspiring immortal children of God form a fabric of being. While the strength of this holy cloth depends in part on letting God be the Judge, here we are told for good reason to rebuke our straying brothers and sisters. To let them go wild would be to accept a low quality weave, or worse, tears in the fabric, neither of which the Perfect Creator would ever do.
"Look for the Mark! Don't shoot way over there! Look; there is the bullseye! Now, try again. Shall I help you?" I hear the good marksman say. And then, "Whoa, Jack!!! What are you doing?! Don't trip that kid! Come on, straighten up."
We walkers on the narrow path, cringe when we hear about pedophile priests; stunned we wait for their superiors to meet out a punishment that is never enough.
Don't let this be a cause to stumble. In our frustration let's recall Jesus saying that it would be better for a millstone to be hung around their necks because they caused the boys and their families and loved ones and even some of us aspiring immortals to stumble and loose trust in God.
I wonder what can be worse than being thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around my neck. I also wonder if it will be just as bad for those of us who could have and did not rebuke the offender.
The bad news is that we miss the Mark when we are the cause of other's stumbling, even for far lessor reasons, which can be very easy to do with some people, and for not rebuking offenders. I really hate rebuking, don't you?